Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Ellery “Over Land, Over Sea”

It all began when husband and wife duo of Justin and Tasha Golden met each other while living in the Cincinnati area, many miles away from the same city where they had grown up-Akron, OH. The former Akronites met and fell in love and that was that. Soon, the duo created the musical outfit known as Dividing the Plunder. Nowadays, however, the duo performs together under the moniker of Ellery, a name they took from a book.

As Ellery, Justin and Tasha Golden have created original pop-rock music that revolves around Tasha’s piano and Justin’s guitars with Tasha taking care of the vocals. As the duo, Tasha and Justin have created several albums of music; although, the duo’s last album called This Isn’t Over Yet had been released back in 2010. But after taking some time off to explore the writer side of her personality and releasing the book entitled Once You Had Hands, Tasha Golden returned to composing lyrics for music and the duo called Ellery began creating a new release. The newest EP from Ellery is entitled Over Land, Over Sea.

While seven years have passed since the last album from Ellery, the new release entitled Over Land, Over Sea finds the duo in very familiar territory, proving they have lost nothing in the seven years since the last release. And nowhere is that more evident than with the EP’s first track of “Sleep Well Goodnight”.

“Sleep Well Goodnight” features a laidback pace to the music as Tasha sings a song in the style of a lullaby. The overall feel of the track brings to mind previous songs from the duo’s catalog and in particular, the track is rather reminiscent of the duo’s song “Christopher” which appears on the duo’s This Isn’t Over Yet release. While many of the tracks created by the husband and wife team feature one or the other of the duo on the music, this track finds both the guitar and the keyboard sharing the spotlight in the song equally. As the first track the first release in seven years from Ellery, “Sleep Well Goodnight” eases the listener back into the style of the duo’s music.

With the next track of the release, Justin and Tasha increase the energy level in their music. With “Tennessee Whiskey (Hallelujah),” the music of Ellery changes from a low-key Pop/Rock style to more of an Indie Rock sound with slightly more energy. The increased energy level on the track comes courtesy of Justin Golden’s electric guitar. That electric guitar and the more intense feel of Tasha’s keyboards creates one of the more rockin’ tracks on the Over Land, Over Sea EP.

On the next track of “I’m Done Waiting”, the duo takes their music in a more relaxed direction once again. In fact, with the inclusion of strings in the background, the track ends up being one of the more orchestrated tunes in the discography of Ellery. The track once again features a vocal approach from Tasha that adds to the rather laidback feel of the song. But because of the laidback feel of the music on the track, Tasha’s voice feels a lot clearer than on other songs from the duo.

Over Land, Over Sea from Ellery continues with the title track of the release. After the laidback feel of “I’m Done Waiting,” Tasha and Justin bring the energy level back up just a bit on “Over Land, Over Sea”. The result is a track that contains an Indie Rock feel. That musical approach comes from the electric guitar that feels just slightly out of tune, which adds to the Indie feel of the track as does the rather sparse feel to the minimalistic music on the track. “Over Land, Over Sea” is one of the more unique songs from the duo as it sets itself apart from the other tracks on the EP.

Justin and Tasha Golden bring their new EP to a close with the track “Do Your Worst”. As with songs like “Songs For Lovers” off of the duo’s Lying release, “Do Your Worst” finds the duo once again drawing musical inspiration from the likes of Sarah McLachlin. “Do Your Worst” contains a sound and feel to the music that brings to mind a few of McLachlin’s songs with the low-key approach of the music making the track very relaxed. With that relaxed feel, “Do Your Worst” brings the Over Land, Over Sea EP from Ellery to a close on a gentle note.

The new release of Over Land, Over Sea from Ellery is a five-song EP that finds the duo of Justin and Tasha Golden picking up right where they left off back in 2010. The tracks that belong to the newest release from the duo contain much the same musical approach as the duo’s previous releases. That familiarity will ensure that the musical outfit’s fans will enjoy the new EP. If you are familiar with the music of Ellery, you need to catch up with what is new with the duo. If you have yet to discover the magic that is found within the duo’s music, this EP is the perfect way to introduce yourself to Ellery.

To check out the music of Ellery, click on the link for the video to the band’s submission to the NPR Tiny Desk Contest called “Tennessee Whiskey”.

Events in the near past resulted in the duo of Justin and Tasha Golden re-releasing one of their songs. As a result of the #MeToo campaign, the duo was asked about “You Did Everything Right,” a very apropos song written by Tasha Golden around actual events in her own background that took place that happened to be related to the #MeToo situation. To view the live version of the song “You Did Everything Right,” click HERE


To purchase a copy of Over Land, Over Sea from Ellery, click on the album cover below: